No matter what time of the year it is, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better solution to enhancing home comfort and energy efficiency than by focusing on insulation. It’s often assumed that insulation is most effective during the winter months, but it acts the same way during the summer, keeping conditioned air inside and outside air from entering the home.
Types of Insulation
The first step to any insulation project in your home is to determine what type (or types) of insulation you should use. With an overwhelming variety of choices on the market, here are the main types The Fifth Fuel focuses on:
Spray foam is comprised of a two-part mixture that comes together at the tip of a spray gun and will expand into all cavities or gaps. This application air seals as well as insulates, and should be applied by a professional.
Made from recycled material, this insulation type can be installed anywhere, is cost-effective, and is treated to be fire retardant.
Primarily composed of glass that is woven into coarse fibers, fiberglass should be installed by a professional to ensure effective application. Many homeowners think they can undertake this project themselves with some “pink stuff,” but improper application of this material can be detrimental to your home’s efficiency.
Foam board has a higher R-value than either cellulose or fiberglass, but is less flexible in terms of installation since it’s rigid board.
Applications of Insulation
Unsurprisingly, there are certain areas of the home that can benefit more than others from freshly-installed, high-performance insulation. Here are just a few to take into consideration, all of which can be better insulated to create a more comfortable indoor environment:
Insulate Your Basement
The basement is one of the first places to start when insulating a home as it is where air tends to enter and exit the building. The stack effect, caused by differences in air pressure, allows your home to act like a chimney in reverse during the summer season. As you pump cooler conditioned air into the upper levels of your home it is denser due to the fact that it is cold. This air falls to the lower floors and is replaced by hot air from the attic being pulled down into the conditioned space. This air eventually makes its way down to the low pressure area of the house (basement) and escapes. If properly insulated and sealed, however, your basement will no longer be a source of air exfiltration during the hot summer months.
Insulate Your Walls
Similar to your floors, it’s essential to insulate your walls so that transference between rooms doesn’t occur. This is especially true of sidewalls, which make contact with outside air and can be drafty if cracks and gaps exist. Plus, insulating your walls will help to reduce noise pollution, resulting in a quieter, more private home.
Insulate Your Attic
The final area of your home that should be outfitted with high-performance insulation is your attic. Insulating your attic will help to ensure that temperatures remain relatively stable. Attic insulation can help put a stop to the final step of stack effect, and is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to enhancing home performance.
Let The Fifth Fuel Help!
At The Fifth Fuel, we believe that homeowners in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia deserve to stay comfortable throughout the entire year, and high-performance insulation is one of the best tools for reaching this goal. We’ll discuss the various types of insulation available for enhancing home performance and will work to come with a plan that fits your budget and needs.